What Trump Learned From A Famous Fraud

I recently learned that Donald Trump’s childhood pastor was the charlatan Norman Vincent Peale. This explains a lot.

“I still remember [Peale’s] sermons. You could listen to him all day long. And when you left the church, you were disappointed it was over. He was the greatest guy.” — Trump (Politico)

When I was in junior high a family friend and Peale devotee gave me his book, “The Power of Positive Thinking.” I thought it was nifty and often quoted it to others, until a skeptical college professor encouraged me to look further.

I read up on Peale and soon learned what a fraud this guy was. And you can see how he helped Trump turn out as he has.

Columbia University’s Gwenda Blair, a biographer of the Trump family:

“Known as ‘God’s salesman,’ Peale merged worldliness and godliness to produce an easy-to-follow theology that preached self-confidence as a life philosophy. Critics called him a con man, described his church as a cult, and said his simple-minded approach shut off genuine thinking or insight. But Peale’s outlook, promoted through his radio shows, newspaper columns and articles, and through Guideposts, his monthly digest of inspirational messages, fit perfectly into the Trump family culture of never hesitating to bend the rules, doing whatever it took to win, and never, ever giving up.”

I can think of at least three Peale influences on Trump: Fake Sources, Hypnosis and Fear Mongering.

As my college professor pointed out, there are hundreds of unnamed and unverifiable “sources” Peale cites for his claims. The book is rife with anecdotes and sayings from anonymous people such as “a famous psychiatrist” or “a prominent citizen.” He taught Trump how to support your assertions by just making it all up.

Harvard scholar Donald Meyer, back in 1965, labeled Peale’s book “The bible of American auto hypnotism.” This became a theme among Peale critics, who noted the similarity between hypnosis and his many “techniques” for absolute self-confidence and persuasion. Perhaps this explains that one-third of the electorate who think Trump can do no wrong.

On the fear factor, Wikipedia notes that detractors say “Peale’s philosophy is based on exaggerating the fears of his readers and followers, and that this exaggerated fear inevitably leads to aggression and the destruction of those considered ‘negative.’” Just watch the crowd at any Trump rally to see this connection.

Craig Crawford

Author: Craig Crawford

Trail Mix Host

49 thoughts on “What Trump Learned From A Famous Fraud”

  1. A morning glory ‘bingo’ to you, Craig.  My ex father-in-law, the narcissistic, john bircher used to quote peale all of the time.    He sent the entire family into therapy and trump is a doppelganger for the abuser.   Guideposts?   The creep gave us a subscription!

    My ex-FIL was a also passive incest abuser, like trump.   Just like trump talks horribly about ivanka and his hands are everywhere on a child, parading her in sexy clothes?  My ex-SIL was is damaged.  Captain Narcissism died this past year and on his obit?  My ex-SIL acting like ivanka.    The damage of this type of human in power?    We will all need therapy and expect violence.   The ex-FIL was violent, too.

  2. The ex-FIL?  Had a problem at work with sexual harassment, an incident he denied, denied, denied, denied, denied.

    These guys are so obvious, such a pattern of abuse.

  3. My Baptist, Shriner RW uncle, with whom I disagree on almost every substantive issue but love dearly was a Peale fan. He had Guideposts in his family room beside his bibles.

  4. Don’t really care  where he learned to be the PoS he is.

    I just want him gone. Problem is, we got him for at least 3 more years.

    So I’m more interested in  how to neuter him by electing Democrats up and down the ballot



  5. Not looking like a lot of spine in the GOP (grand old pedophile) ranks this morning.  Looks like the slimy bastard roy moore is going to get away with being a pedophile.  One thing he or his equals (like how far under a worm can you get) have so far not run out the “he was just looking for a bride” because Alabama is a state that has child marriage, even as low as thirteen or fourteen years old.

    I do not like moore, he wants to have gays rounded up and killed.  I am still looking for his quote, for some reason it is no longer in the first twenty pages on Google search, it used to show up on page two.

  6. Agreed, Jack.   The dems need some new, young blood and a bunch of rallies that feed and water the humans to introduce them to new democrats. See what rises to the top.  I have my favorites like Beto O’Rourke and Martin Heinrich.  Time to detach from 2016 and look to new leaders.  I really dislike the last of the baby boomers and old timers running the dnc (many of them should be nervous with the sexual harassment and unwanted touching coming to the forefront, anyway.)

    The dems want to continue to win?  All factions of the party need to work together on some new candidates and see what the citizens want.


  7. I remember in 2016 when trump said there should be some form of punishment for women regarding abortion.  If Mueller is able to prove conspiracy among trump and certain republicans, there should be some sort of punishment for the republican party to allow such an attack on America just to continue their warped agenda.  All we get from the repug party is silence and many just run for the doors. The trumpence junta continues to populate the judiciary and that might be an area where their punishment should be the undoing of many appointments.

    I watched Anita Hill on CNN last night.  She is still remarkable.

  8. I’ve heard of Peale…  but don’t know much about him or knew anyone who quoted him.    A fraud minister??!!…   who knew such a thing existed 😉

    I’m grateful for the fact that my parents didn’t trust organized religion and encouraged me to think for myself.

    I want Moore to get elected and speak loudly and often…  the  gop deserve him.

  9. I may have read Elmer Gantry and All The King’s Men at way too young an age.  Anything that even vaguely smacks of motivational or group think just sets my teeth on edge, even when I approve of the ideas.  Not saying I’m a twinge pathological on the subject, but even some Ted Talks feel creepy and you will never find me at a political rally.

  10. I remember Reagan quoting Horatio Alger and that whole “boot strap” story. Horatio Alger, pedophile.

    This Roy Moore saga isn’t that new.

  11. More Trump bilge  ..

    I’m still looking at all the faces that got elected across the country.

  12. Jamie

    Lots of really different looking people and many of the women ran as a result of being pumped up by the pussy cat hat march.

    I don’t get why suburban white women preferred the Pussy Grabber to Clinton but looking at the Va stats I think they clearly voted against self-interest and are now relieved that they don’t have to

  13. Here’s a quote from my brother on the proposed tax crap pile

    “individual tax burdens are not onerous, but mortgaging the future for a few pennies is not only greedy, but this profligate fiscal policy is destructive to savings.”

    And under the new plan the tax deduction for teachers who buy school supplies is gone

  14. Saw this head line this morning on politico

    Senate passes measure requiring sexual harassment training for senators, aides

    I’d did realize they needed training,  seems to me they are very good at it just naturally



  15. KGC

    Same with the medical deduction. When My mother was in the nursing home and we were selling off the farm it kept her from having to pay thousands of in taxes.  As it was she had to pay state income tax.  It was crazy, she was paying her own way and over half the folks around her were on Medicaid. LOL as I said at the time not only was she having to pay her way but was paying for those around her.

    BTW, this was a woman who never made over $15,000 in her life and live on $500 social security check.


  16. I think today is Veterans Day..only because my brother the Vet sent a picture of his first freebie of the day –red/white and blue pancakes at I think IHOP

    To Flatus and BB and maybe Sturge  — thanks

  17. Politico ran with an article about Joe Biden wanting to run in 2020.


    No Joe, just no.

    You are  74 will be 78 in 2020, You blew your real chance thirty years ago and haven’t been in the running since.

    Come on grandpa just sit in your comfy chair and tell all of us about the good ole days.

    Oh and Politico, fire who ever wrote that silly story, they have demonstrated their total lack of brains


  18. If last Tuesday taught us anything it’s that GOP is in deep trouble with suburban women. Wonder what they think about Roy Moore today?

  19. GOP = grand old perverts

    The moore quote about rounding up gays and killing them was from an interview in the 1980’s or early 1990’s.  He was being interviewed and strayed from the question, but the reporter did catch the importance of stupid’s answer, so he had him expand by asking “do you mean like a compound?”.  Pedophile answer sounded a lot like a concentration camp description.  Then he was asked what to do then, and stupid answered to execute them (the gays).

    What is additionally important is a few years latter Dobson of Focus on the Family (shower with your son or young man to show him what a man is to keep him from turning gay), and the pervert were being interviewed and the kill the gays quote came up and the reporter asked daddy dobson if he agreed.  He did agree.

    Hopefully one of the enterprising reporters reading this can find the two interviews and quotes.

  20. OMG Craig…   after reading around the ‘net about Flynn and the Turkish Cleric, it’s obvious that Trumplestiltskin’s team really did think they could get away with anything and everything.   Go, Bob, go!

    Jack…  though I’ve always loved Biden…  I’m with you about this talk and a 2020 presidential bid.  I’m with you, sj, BlondeW, and several others here…  time for “out with the old and in with the new” concerning Democratic candidates.

  21. ^snark^

    Craig, he is not racist, he is a devout bible believing Christian.


    tags inserted just in case you was wonderin’

  22. CEOs hoping for massive tax cuts might want to plan otherwise. Face it guys, your fortunes in campaign donations were spent on idiots.

  23. Guess he doesn’t believe Mary was a virgin..

    “Take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus,” — Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler defending Moore molesting 14yo girl.

  24. Machiavelli would advise Dems to stand down & watch Moore go to Senate, use it hugely in the midterms.

  25. Machiavelli would advise Dems to stand down & watch Moore go to Senate, use it hugely in the midterms.

    Exactly!  Please Alabama… pretty please… elect Moore to the Senate.


    Small outpoint on Virgin Mary at least according to the tale that is told, she was a married woman.

    Just for a little more serious take on the subject, an old blog article because great art should be celebrated if only to clean the politics off the palate.

    Weighty Marbles

  27. I think another national day of anti-trumpism would be a good thing…maybe on the anniversary of last years.

    Also I think there should be townhalls on the tax the poor bill

  28. nunes was at the the breakfast meeting with flynn and turk fm.

    The breakfast event, held on Wednesday, January 18, was closed to the press, and it is still unclear what exactly was discussed.

    “Chairman Nunes was a speaker at that event, but it was a large breakfast event, not a small, private meeting as described in that article,”   40 attendees at the event

  29. World’s too small for me.  Dumbass Moore was a law school classmate (UofA Law ’77) of my best friend buddy who spent his entire legal career in the city of Tuscaloosa Legal Department, retiring as City Attorney.  Jim Zeigler was UofA SGA president my first year there, was a very close friend of one of my undergrad friends – who was the first black SGA vice president and who I believe was Zeigler’s SGA campaign manager. Zeigler was an anti-machine candidate and I knew him to be pretty progressive – his friend is probably rolling over in his grave.

    Jamie, I love that Moore cartoon, and great point about Mary being a married woman.

  30. But for the statute of limitations, Roy’s lawyer would , as Judge Haller said in My Cousin Vinny “find [him/her]self in the unique position of defending clients who say they didn’t do it.”

  31. For those who still have an affinity for radio, there are BBC 4 programs.  Wonderful episodes from quiz shows, to spoken novels, to plays … Radio as it used to be and if you know where to look still is.  “Tommies” broadcasting tomorrow (double check due to time differences) with recording available after broadcast. A whole lot of background from WW I and what led to the creation of Iraq.


  32. On the Christmas defense, If the young lady had gotten pregnant by someone else and Royboy married her to remove the stain then he might have a point.

    Reminds me of a neighbor family when I was growing up. Nadine(Nada) and Harmon (Harmy) When they got married she was 15 and he was 30, it was a ” till death due us part” marriage with 8 kids but the oldest doesn’t look anything like the other 7 so I suspect Harmy and Joseph have a lot in common.


  33. I was one of the chosen few at work who got to taste $300 a bottle Anejo Tequila.

    Oh my goodness, the scent was of well aged oak barrels + top notch vanilla & smooth as honey.  The color was of golden wheat under autumnal sun 😉

    Yowza Yowza.




  34. I like Joe Biden, respect the man. He is a top notch candidate for the “Democratic Party Ambassador” role, thriving on the in-the-trenches-Hi! Peoria stuff that makes others’ skin crawl. Hope he is treated & used wisely. He has a knack for old time politicking, which is honestly a natural gift. As for President … I fear his time has passed. Though as an advisor, “face”, he is ageless & valuable.

  35. sjwny, exactly. the democratic ambassador.  perfect place, podium and pedestal for joe.  love him and hope he’s willing to play the role of elder statesman.

  36. bw, thanks for the business insider article on turkeys nunes & Flynn.  hard to choose who to believe about the mtg, that turkish newspaper or critterville staffer…. real toss-up. here’s excerpt:

    The Washington correspondent for the Turkish newspaper Daily Sabah, which tends to be pro-government, reported at the time that an aide to Cavusoglu said he “was the only foreign leader at the breakfast and the topics on the US-Turkish agenda were discussed by the attendees.”

    The invitation, obtained by the newspaper, said the breakfast would “be a small event for about 50-60 guests” and that the incoming White House chief of staff, Reince Priebus, “might join the meeting,” Daily Sabah reported.

    Nunes’ spokesman, who did not return a request for comment on Friday, issued a statement earlier this year downplaying the importance of the breakfast.

    “Chairman Nunes was a speaker at that event, but it was a large breakfast event, not a small, private meeting as described in that article,” the spokesman, Jack Langer, told the fact-checking website Snopes.

    He continued:
    “Mr. Cavusoglu was one of about 40 attendees at the event, which included 20-30 ambassadors to the U.S. and about 10 other foreign dignitaries and officials. The attendees heard some remarks from Flynn, Chairman Nunes, and other representatives on national security issues — the discussion topic was not Turkey or any other single country … if [Nunes did speak to Cavusoglu], it would’ve been among all the other ambassadors and officials at the event. There was no separate, private meeting.”
    Nunes’ attendance at the event is newly relevant amid revelations that the special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating a meeting that another congressman, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, took with Flynn in September 2016. Flynn had begun lobbying on behalf of Turkish government interests one month earlier.

  37. SJWNY

    Oh Jeez you want soap operas:

    My daughter got pregnant at 14.  She and the father (with family intervention on both sides) had good enough sense not to marry.  They went on to other people which didn’t work.  Twelve years after the fact they are trading time with daughter, fell in love all over again and got married.  End result .. She is 53.  He is pushing 60.  Child is now 36.  and we have happily ever after.

    Sometimes Soap Operas actually work.


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